The Best Gift

Photo Credit - Scott Crowther

Made Mindful's founder - Christina Packard is truly a gift to her parents, siblings, friends.  Her birth story, shared by Elizabeth Crowther is simply beautiful.  

Christina’s birth story really starts in the beginning of our marriage as we did not have a lot of time without her.  One month after we were married we got pregnant!  What an exciting time of life.  We were both in college and workin.  Well, Christina was very anxious to be a part of this world and did not care much for our plan.  As newlyweds, we wanted a little time just the two of us.   It truly was the best thing that could happen to us.  Starting our family right away really was hard but we managed.

In December, around Christmas, we announced our grand news.  There was a Christmas song on Barbara Streisand’s Christmas album called “The best Gift”.  Scott accompanied the song that I sang to my parents.  They were thrilled.  Jean and Duane felt that they were too young to be grandparents as it would be their first grandchild.

Scott and I had the summer off of school and we were preparing for the baby to come.  I painted a crib I found second hand and Mom Crowther gave me a small child’s wardrobe that I also painted.  My Doctor was Dr. Charles L. Hyde.  He was a great doctor, an older gentleman who had birthed thousands of babies.  Scott and I took a Lamaze/Natural Birth course.  Scott thought the breathing sounds were really unfamiliar and because of this it was humorous to him.  I remember him really taking the opportunity to poke fun and laugh at it all.  He did understand the concept but he did introduce levity into the Lamaze class experience.  I was strong and determined to have this baby naturally.

The baby was due June 14th. The day of my due date I had a doctors appointment.  At that appointment the doctor asked if I wanted to be induced.  He performed a membrane sweep (detaching the amniotic sac from the uterus) and sure enough that evening contractions started.  I was in officially in labor.

One of the responsibilities of the Lamaze coach, or the Dad, was to document my contractions.  Scott did this from 7:00 pm until 4:02 am.  After which Scott was so tired he had to get some sleep. Scott did manage to wake up long enough to call the hospital at 6:00 am and they said that it would be better if we came in at 8:00, so I showered and labored until Scott was finally able to wake up and drove me to the hospital.

Contraction Record transcribed by the most diligent Lamaze Partner

We got our bag with the items we had packed and we were off to Logan Regional Hospital about 10 minutes drive from our trailer home just to the northeast of the Utah State University campus.  After we were admitted, Dr. Hyde came in and said to us, “Let’s have this baby today!”  We were in room 207, a private room.  I was given an IV which was inserted in my hand in a way that each time I had a contraction, or would move my wrist at all, the tube would put pressure on the needle which would dig in deeper and caused all sorts of pain and discomfort.  When compared to the pain of the contraction, I honestly felt that the IV hurt more at times.

Image of the IV during Christina's Birth

After the IV was inserted the nurse did a cervical exam and I was dilated to a 5.  Yay, all the work that I had done all night long had done something.  My attending nurse, and a few other nurses came into my room while I was laboring trying to talk me into having an epidural.  I was astonished that they were not encouraging me to have my baby naturally, but they were not.  It was a good thing I was determined to not succumb to the temptation because this pain was like nothing I had experienced.  It was this internal groan my body was feeling and times it felt like I was being torn apart.  Needless to say, I kept laboring, with Scott being a pretty good coach, except when he was trying to get in a few more winks of sleep.  After about 4 hours of contractions in the hospital, the camel back contractions being the roughest,  I was progressing fast, and after about 40 minutes of these back-to-back contractions I went from 8 centimeters to 10.  It was time to push.  Christina’s time was at hand, whether we were ready or not.  I grabbed Scott’s hand and he was fully awake encouraging me through 4 strong pushes, and Christina was there.  We didn’t know whether the baby was a boy or girl beforehand, and were so excited to have a perfect little baby girl direct from heaven.  Scott was not surprised about having a little girl because several weeks before he had a dream where a little girl came to him and said “My name is Christina”.  Her little head was slightly cone shaped and the nurse assured us that it was common for babies to have an elongated head at birth.  

She had such a sweet little cry.  The nurse wrapped her 6 pound 15 ounce body, all 20” of it, in a blanket and placed her on my chest.  She looked around with her great big eyes, moving her head all around with her strong little neck, trying to take in the all new environment, which was very different from the tiny little living space that she had just been experiencing.

It was such an amazing experience for me to now be holding close to my heart this new love of my life, and have such high hopes and dreams for this perfect little baby on the day of her birth.  The love a mother feels for her baby simply can’t be matched.  And here I was experiencing a whole new level of love that I had never felt before.  It was truly fulfilling and transcendently overcoming.

Birth Story shared by Elizabeth Crowther

Note: Birth in 1983 and 2022 have a lot of similarities, most notably is the birth of a mother who experiences greater love and joy as her bundle of joy is placed in her arms.  

Sarah Ziroll

Sarah Ziroll